Ramin Bahrani, the writer-director who adaptated Aravind Adiga‘s book The White Tiger, has made some interesting movies (At Any Price, 99 Homes, Fahrenheit 451) that have been on my radar before. But The White Tiger caught my attention because of two cast members, Priyanka Chopra (Isn’t It Romantic, Quantico) and Rajkummar Rao (Stree, Omerta) before I ever knew that Bahrani was adapting Adiga’s book.
Premise: The movie follows the epic and darkly humorous journey of Balram, a poor Indian driver who must use his wit and cunning to rise to a successful entrepreneur in modern India.
Review: Stories about change, evolution, the betterment of one’s circumstances are often interesting but tend to lack something. I don’t want to say they lack authenticity because I don’t think that, but often that authenticity has a weird sheen on it, almost as if it’s sugarcoated, tone down, and that’s not the case here.
The White Tiger is not a documentary but it bares a lot, it’s kind of raw and tends to show things as they are. The movie gives a lot of insights on how the other half lives, particularly in India. It really digs into the culture, the class system, the different ways people think and so much more. Yet there’s little judgment, it’s quite funny, not pandering to western culture but its made to be palatable for the masses.
As for the cast, they’re amazing, Chopra and Rao might have brought this movie to my attention but Adarsh Gourav (Hostel Daze) is extremely well cast in this movie. He delivered a great performance, awards worthy. He’s poignant, funny, and very much the little guy you want to root for. His performance is on point for every stage in his character’s life.
The White Tiger is an enlightening story that pulls back the curtain on Indian society and culture, dealing with heavy subjects, with a dark comedic tone and excellent performances throughout.
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